Friday, July 24, 2015

Seed to Table Series-Peanuts

Welcome to our Summer Series,
Seed to Table.
Every Friday, we'll explore a different crop
that you can grow in your own garden.
Whether you're in mid-harvest, already looking ahead to your fall garden,
 or just thinking about growing your own,
we hope this series inspires you.
We'll begin with planting from seed or seedling,
and end up with a scratch recipe.

Today we're talkin' peanuts.
The second best ingredient 
in our homemade peanut butter cups.
  (peanut butter, chocolate, honey, salt).
Guess which is first?

We bought our seed from Southern Exposure Seed Exchange,
which carries many seeds that thrive in the southern US.
We qualify.
They come in the package looking just like the finished crop.
The shells are removed and planted one to two inches deep
and about six inches apart.
They do well in our sandy soil. 
They were originally planted here a few years ago,
and we still get new crops each year,
which probably means that I neglected to harvest every pod.

 Once the plants start flowering,
keep them well watered.
They require a long growing period,
anywhere from 130-140 days.
They can be started indoors if your growing season is shorter.

Once the leaves start to yellow, they are ready to be harvested.
The peanuts grow on reedy stalks under ground,
and the whole plant can be pulled up to collect the treasures under the earth.

This crop is one you don't find in most gardens.
It really doesn't need much care
and the rewards will store well for months.
Can you imagine bringing homegrown roasted peanuts
to the next sporting event or picnic?
Or how about enjoying some
homemade nut butter?


Peanut Butter
1 C peanuts
1 T peanut or corn oil
1/4 t salt (optional)
1 t sugar (optional)

Add ingredients to small food processor
and whiz for about 3 minutes.

Seed to Tables Series

Sweet Potatoes
Black-eyed Peas


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